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Bronx Zoo gives kids a clear view from where they stand

Unlike many zoos, Bronx Zoo gives the littlest kids a clear view from where they stand - or sit in their strollers (minimal hoisting required!).

 In like a lion, out like a lamb, our “March of the Animals” continues today with tips for exploring what remains one of our favorite zoos we’ve visited to date: New York’s Bronx Zoo.  

With some 4,000 animals awaiting your acquaintance across some 265 acres, the Bronx Zoo is the highlight of many a family vacation inNew York Citywith small children. Since it could easily take those visiting without babies, toddlers, and preschoolers more than a day to see all the sights, here are some tips to help you make the most of your family’s visit.

The open-sided Wild Asia Monorail at Bronx Zoo
The open-sided Wild Asia Monorail is a fun and relaxing way to view numerous animals at the zoo – as long as you don’t spend the entire time peeling your toddler off the railing!

1. With older babies and toddlers, start with the Children’s Zoo,where tots can burn off much of their energy with more physical exhibits, smile for silly photographs in animal cut outs—or possibly with animals, and enjoy a ride on the Bug Carousel. Once they’ve had their fun here, they’ll be ready to relax in the stroller and enjoy visits to the other animals (and won’t be as likely to climb the railings when you take the Wild Asia Monorail!).

2. With toddlers and preschoolers who like to explore on foot (and not sit in the stroller), buy your family a shuttle pass ($3 each unlimited rides for the day) to use when appropriate. There is a lot of ground to cover at this zoo! Better to put the miles on your tot’s sneakers up close to the animals and inside the exhibits themselves.

3. To get to the Bronx Zoo from Manhattan, take the BxM11 express bus, which stops along Madison Avenue (26th to 99th Streets) before driving directly on to the zoo. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to travel, and with ground-level boarding it’s far simpler than navigating the subway system and corresponding stairs with your stroller. The bus lets you off at the Gate B Bronx River entrance, where it will also pick you up for your return (see bus schedule here). 

Kids on the Bug Carousel at New York's Bronx Zoo
Creepy crawlies and othe critters await at the Bug Carousel.

4. If you don’t want to schlep your stroller to the zoo and back,but you’d like to have the use of one during your tour of Bronx Zoo, stroller rentals are available for $10 single and $15 double. They may not be suitable for newborns and very young babies that need a deeper recline, but can be a convenient option for the sturdier older babies and toddlers visiting here.

5. Use the online trip planner before you go to get a helpful overview of the many exhibits and animals at Bronx Zoo, and make a few strategic decisions on your priority list in case you’ll run out of time before seeing them all (which is likely). The trip planner includes a brief description of each exhibit and an estimated amount of time you’ll want to spend there. For more help planning your Bronx Zoo visit, including the schedule of animal feeding times for the day, click here to visit the website.

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Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli

Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby

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